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Prof. Durnford to Attend Cultural Seminar in Québec

May 9, 2013
Dr. Durnford
Dr. Durnford

Dr. Thomas Durnford, professor of modern languages, recently received a grant from the Québec Ministry of International Relations and Commerce to attend a three-week seminar in July at the Université de Montréal. The Québec Delegation in Boston, which oversees relations between the province and the New England states, recommended Dr. Durnford for this program.

The seminar's primary focus is to develop curriculum and pedagogical applications in the teaching of Québec culture, history, economics, the arts, and the place of the province within the Canadian confederation and the international community. The seminar program includes conference presentations, classroom observations, discussion groups, and guided excursions around the province.

"We plan to integrate much of this material into all of the French course offerings here at KSC, beginning with the Fall semester," Dr. Durnford said. "Québec will be a major focus of the French program. An interdisciplinary approach to Québec studies, with the support of the Québec Delegation in Boston, has been an on-going discussion for several years on campus, so the seminar is an important catalyst towards us realizing this important step."

Why is the study of Québec so important to KSC students? "Québec is a major trading partner with the state of New Hampshire, which has a very strong cultural connection to the province," Dr. Durnford explained. "Approximately one-third of the students at Keene State College are of French/Québec heritage."